Is Hull City’s Hell Nearly Over?

So, farewell then, Russell Bartlett? An unpopular figure, who presided over initial success but ultimate failure, leaving a trail of financial misjudgements in his wake, for which he tried to blame others, it is little wonder that Hull City’s future ex-owner has been branded by some commentators as “Tom Hicks-lite.” Well, by me anyway. At the time of writing, Bartlett is showing signs of being as reluctant to leave Hull City as Hicks was Liverpool…or, more to the point, leave his money behind in the club which has numerous debts to pay to others first, including millions to a bank. There may yet be more compelling reasons for not selling his controlling interest in the club, especially as there is currently only one potential bidder, Egyptian-born local businessman – and club sponsor – Assem Allam. But Allam himself doesn’t seem to provide any of them. Egypt’s record in English football club ownership is currently mixed. There’s been the generous benefactor, the owner chasing debts around his business empire, the wannabe property developer with grand designs but insufficiently grand finances to match, the egotistical nutcase (reputedly) and the loyal, long-serving club man inspiring similar devotion from many fans. All these owners have been Egyptian, exposing the danger of stereotyping club owners from the same country. Especially as all these owners are Fulham’s Mohamed Fayed. Assem Allam, in common with the...

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